Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trees on my Commute

There are two trees that I've been inspecting for years along my commuting route. Both sit alone, which may be part of their appeal; one is in a field and the other rests on a knoll. I've fallen in love with the shape of one and the bark on another.

This champagne glass-figure is not a common sight these days. Years ago a disease destroyed most of the towering elms in Burlington. This one is further south. It may have survived because of it's solitary position or it's possibly a young'un trying to put a toe-hold in the earth. Nevertheless, it's intriguing and this time of year in bloom. I had an inkling to it's identity, but wanted to run it by my boss so he could take a look the next time he drove past. When I mentioned the tree's location, he didn't hesitate. "Oh yes, that's an elm". Apparently he's noticed it too.

Two miles away along the same route sits this tall, scraggly thing wedged between the roadway and the bike path. The network of branches reminds me of witches and long pointed fingers. As with all trees in the winter, you notice and can appreciate an individual one's framework.

But up close is where this tree shines. A Shagbark hickory displays a trunk full of peeling bark like a flaky coat. There are more of these around the area, but this specimen is within a shoulder of my bike when I pedal by. I sometimes wonder if those tendrils are going to grab me.


  1. Those ARE cool trees :) One thing I miss from our old house out in the country...all the nice tree and each one with it's own personality. Of course,this month at least,I love seeing the Dogwoods in bloom that the city has planted everywhere too...

    The Disabled Cyclist

  2. I find that certain trees along my regular cycle routes become almost like friends over time....Almost feels like a comfort to see them.


  3. A short-minded neighbor ripped down a massive shah bark hickory about a year ago....must have 100 feet high? Gorgeous tree.....gone. Fools!

  4. The bark is cool. I like how you captured the road cyclist in the last photo.

  5. Hi- arbologically you show great taste( and in other areas as well). I love both of those native trees, and for their attributes you mention. The vase shape and exfoliating bark. Beauty can be found in many ways. Great post.


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